Let's get something straight: Warren Miller—writer, filmmaker and original ski bum who started producing snow films in 1950—is in no way involved in Warren Miller Entertainment, and hasn't been since 2004. In the late '80s, he sold the company to his son, and after a number of sales and re-sales it ended up with the Bonnier Corporation in 2007. In fact, Miller is now so distanced from the company that bears his name that, in 2010, he was sued by Warren Miller Entertainment for narrating another ski film—an alleged breach of contract outlined in his non-compete clause. Warren Miller was not involved with Ticket to Ride.
Even so, much like the early Miller films, Ticket to Ride is beautiful, engaging and fun. How can sunset skiing on the majestic hills above the fjords of Norway not be?
Likewise for ski mountaineering scenes featuring prolific adventure skier Chris Davenport on Switzerland's 13,020-foot The Eiger. After a breathtaking climb above brutally steep, rocky and snowy cliffs, Davenport descends, only to be swept into an avalanche—all caught on his helmet-cam. Somehow, the experienced skier stays atop the pile and walks away, shaken but unhurt. "Today was one of those reminders that the mountains always rule," Davenport concludes in a voiceover.
But, Ticket to Ride is not all high stakes vignettes; it is garnished with harmless crash scenes, dated ski footage, a sensei-on-the-mountain bit and some of the same loveable but hokey narration that helped make Warren Miller films what they are today—iconic.
While some scenes are shot stateside, the film has its share of dramatic backdrops and big name skiers. The ageless Seth Morrison takes on Alaska's Tordillo Mountains. U.S. Ski Team member and Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety shreds Greenland; and three-time Olympian Julia Mancuso and friends close the 100-minute film (don't worry, there's an intermission for bathroom breaks and more beers) heli-skiing on Iceland's Troll Peninsula. (Viewer hint: Stay for the closing credits; it's worth it. And, a reading suggestion: If you want to learn more about the real Warren Miller, his autobiography, "Warren's World" is a hoot.)
Ticket to Ride
Four screenings: 6pm and 9pm (21+) Friday, Nov. 15 and Saturday, Nov. 16
Tower Theatre, 835 NW Wall St.
Tickets $19 at towertheatre.org and at Powder House
Raffle prizes; beer available. Event passes are good for one Mt. Bachelor lift ticket.